Trailer for Denis Côté’s Berlin Premiere ‘Boris Without Beatrice’

Written by on February 9, 2016 

Boris Without Beatrice Denis Côté

The Berlin line-up — with its established auteurs, up-and-coming voices, and notable figures who often struggle to attain U.S. distribution, to name but a few common characteristics — can be difficult to parse. One title that wasn’t in the initial announcement, yet nevertheless picked up some notice in a second round of news, is Boris Without Beatrice, the new feature from Denis Côté (Vic and Flo Saw a Bear). A trailer helps make clear why this is worth the attention.

Not that we can exactly tell how this one pans out: the festival’s synopsis would tell us we’re in for a “idiosyncratic psychological thriller,” which a preview’s mordant tone doesn’t exactly make clear. No problem: when it’s combined with the prospect of Côté directing Denis Lavant, James Hyndman, and Simone-Élise Girard, this is a festival entry we’ll keep our eyes open for.

See the preview below:


Somewhere in present-day Québec, Boris Malinovsky is going through life with ruthless arrogance. This is a man who, clad in tailored suits, seems to have it all. But then his world begins to falter when his equally successful wife, a minister in the Canadian government, is confined to her bed with depression and is cared for in their remote holiday home. There, Boris receives phone calls from a stranger who asks him to meet in the forest in the middle of the night. The mysterious man confronts Boris with the kind of questions he would rather not have to think about. Nonetheless, following their encounter, Boris tries to steer his life in a different direction. As he does so he feels increasingly persecuted and begins to eye his surroundings, which feel more and more alien to him, with suspicion. Will Boris be able to rid himself of his unbidden demons? After Vic + Flo Saw a Bear (Berlinale Competition, 2013) Denis Coté undertakes a new foray into the genre of the idiosyncratic psychological thriller. Combining satirical precision with puzzling tableaux, he takes the viewer inside the mind of a man who is forced to confront his failures and increasingly loses control of his life.

Boris Without Beatrice will premiere at Berlinale and is currently without U.S. distribution.

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